How To Build Confidence In Your Value As A PR Professional

Sep 28, 2022

Confidence is one of the most important things a PR pro needs to succeed, but it can be really difficult to achieve! Self-doubt can hit you at any point in your entrepreneurial journey, and it can keep you from reaching your biggest goals. Knowing how to build confidence in yourself and your skills is the key to landing your dream clients, scoring epic top-tier press features, and continuously growing your agency. 

4 Key Skills You Need to Be Successful In PR 

The first step to building your PR confidence and knowing your value is to get your skills in check. It’s a lot easier to trust yourself when you know you have a solid skill foundation to lean on! Here are four of the most essential skills all PR pros need to work on when learning how to build confidence in themselves 

#1: Communication 

Being a PR pro means being a comms pro…in every way possible! You need to be able to communicate effectively with prospective clients, current clients, editors and journalists, and collaborators (like podcast hosts or other PR pros). On top of that, you need to help your clients communicate with the media, especially when they’re in a brand new environment like a TV interview or influencer event. 

During the prospective client process, you should clearly communicate the value of your services and PR as a whole, and answer any questions they may have. 

For your current clients, the focus will be on communicating your results, delivering status updates, and, of course, answering their questions along the way. 

And your media contacts are comms pros, too! Keeping up consistent, professional, and personal contact with them is key to building strong relationships and landing future placements. 

#2: Storytelling

PR is all about telling a brand’s story, and it’s more important than ever before. People want to support brands that align with their values and have a real, positive impact on the world. It’s up to PR pros to help their clients relate to their audience’s emotions, lives, and struggles — when you’re vetting potential clients, make sure they’re truly connected to their audience! 

Brand storytelling goes far beyond pitching and getting your message across to the media. It also impacts brand aesthetics, their voice and tone, and how their social media is run. Nailing down your storytelling skills is foundational to being a PR pro and knowing how to build your confidence. 

#3: Analyzing Data

I know, I know — you got into PR to tell stories, not crunch numbers! But analyzing data is a key aspect of reporting progress to your clients in a tangible, measurable way. If you can understand the metrics behind their content’s performance, you can provide clear insight into the actions and intentions of their online visitors. 

Remember, data is only as useful as your understanding of it and ability to use it to your advantage. Take those numbers to adjust copy, change website layouts (with the help of a web developer), and promote their most active pages. Start with a widely-used platform like Google Analytics and build your numbers confidence from there. 

Knowing how to analyze data has the added benefit of illustrating return on investment (ROI) for your clients. Having numbers at the ready can help potential and current clients understand the value of your PR services (and you!) and see how their business is impacted by your strategies. Affiliate marketing is a great way to get started with data and ROI, as well! 

Related: 7 Unique PR Goals That Will Get Results For Your Clients

#4: Pitching 

Pitching is the bread and butter of PR; you can’t be a confident PR pro without being confident in your pitching skills! Nail down the fundamentals first — focus on writing a timely, relevant, tailored, and newsworthy pitch. You should clearly communicate your client’s story, the value of your pitch, and any data that enhances your angle. 

Your confidence levels will make or break your pitch. Editors and journalists can sense when you’re not fully committed to an idea! You have to believe in yourself and what you’re saying to land a killer press placement. 

How to Build Confidence In Your Skills and Your Value

Being confident in your skills helps you believe in yourself and know your value, but how do you build that confidence in the first place? Read on for three of my tried and true strategies for working on your confidence as a PR pro. 

Plan and Prepare

When learning how to build confidence in yourself, you need to take it back to basics. Everyone feels more confident when they’re ready for what’s next! Planning ahead and being prepared are vital to your success…and they’ll keep you from strategizing on the fly.

We know PR can be unpredictable, but you should still prepare for the known and the unknown. Do your research before discovery calls or chats with media contacts, prep for interviews with your clients, and get your Press Plan B ready as soon as you’ve developed Press Plan A. When you’re prepared, you’ll be more confident, perform better, and be more assured of your value as a PR pro. 

Keep Learning

Being a PR pro is about way more than just creating and executing great strategies. You need to constantly keep learning about the industry, your niche, and new skills. Taking the time to learn new things helps you feel more confident in your ability to handle different situations, roles, and tasks…and that confidence translates into more valuable PR services for your clients. 

Plus, keeping up with what’s happening in the industry helps you feel more prepared as the media landscape shifts. You’ll know what to expect and why things are done the way they are. And staying ahead of trends always helps you provide the best service possible to your clients. 

If you’re looking to improve a specific skill or work on your knowledge of your niche, try finding a mentor who can advise you (like I do for members of The Pitch Lab!). A mentor knows their value and how to build confidence in themselves…because they’ve already done it! They’ll motivate and inspire you to keep working toward your goals, align your business with your values, and will support you with advice and resources along the way. 

Related: 10 Important 2023 PR Trends All Comms Pros Need to Start Prioritizing

Practice Makes Progress 

When it comes to knowing how to build confidence in yourself and your value, practicing your PR skills is one of the most powerful strategies out there. With every task you complete or goal you reach, your confidence will increase. Celebrating those wins (no matter how small they are) will create a pattern of success in your mind and show yourself your own value! 

No matter what skill you’re developing or what goal you’re working to achieve, always aim to do the best you can. Even when you hit roadblocks or small failures, your ability to bounce back and successfully complete the work afterward will give you a major confidence boost. 

How to Build Confidence In Yourself Through Mindset Shifts 

The last part of learning how to build confidence is shifting your mindset around your value. You can’t become a more assured, confident PR pro if you’re constantly doubting your worth! Knowing what you bring to the table helps you know you belong —here are four major mindset shifts you need to make first. 

Remember That You’re a Valuable Resource for the Media 

Your value as a PR pro goes far beyond what you can do for your clients: you’re a seriously valuable resource for your media contacts, too! It’s easy to get caught up in thinking that the media has the upper hand in your relationship (I mean, they do have the final say in which stories get published). But PR pros are the ones with the information, experts, and resources that make stories worth sharing. 

You’re an incredibly valuable asset who helps editors and journalists do their jobs better. Pitching stories that are relevant and interesting to their audience helps you solidify yourself as an important part of your contact’s network, especially when you dig deep or come up with a super creative angle for a pitch. Knowing your value adds a more confident, self-assured tone to your pitches, and leads to more success down the road. 

Know That You Add Value to the PR Industry and Your Niche 

There are a lot of people in PR, but no one has your unique set of talents, skills, and connections. You bring so much to the table for your clients beyond just media placements, and your value isn’t limited to your retainer fees. Even within your niche, you have abilities that others don’t, and that is why clients and media contacts choose to work with you. 

As a PR pro, you know how to manage media relations and generate earned media for clients. That in and of itself is super valuable! The more experience you gain, the better at it you’ll become, and the more valuable you’ll be to clients. 

Recognize What’s Out of Your Control 

It might be hard for some PR pros to admit, but a lot in this industry is out of our control. No matter how much we want results and how hard we work to get them, sometimes things just don’t work out. And that can seriously shake any PR pro’s confidence in themselves and their agency. 

But when you’ve taken the time to learn how to build confidence and step into your value, the things you can’t control won’t throw you off your game. You’ll know that you’ve done everything to the best of your ability and will recognize and accept that the outcome just wasn’t up to you. 

And keep in mind that the current media landscape is seriously different from what it was a few years ago. Editors and journalists don’t have the same freedom to pick who they want to work with and what they want to write about, so sometimes the outcome is out of their control, too. When you’re faced with a roadblock like this, shift your mindset to remember your value, believe in yourself, and let go of what you can’t control. 

Focus on What Your Career Means to You 

You’re on the PR pro path because you want the autonomy and flexibility of the agency owner lifestyle. Having this career is valuable to you! You’re here to pursue your passions with independence and freedom. 

Knowing how to build confidence as a PR pro flows into your life outside of your agency. When you believe in yourself and take the steps you need to reach your career goals, you let go of self-doubt. This frees up energy that you can dedicate to the people and things that matter most.

Learning how to build confidence in yourself and your agency takes time. But when you work on your skills, shift your mindset about your value, and know your worth as a PR pro, you’ll reach new heights of success.